Muftic: Quo Vadis, Bernie
Donald Trump will be a candidate for president, whether he is the GOP nominee or runs as an independent and Bernie Sanders is unintentionally helping him by continuing his personalized attacks against Hillary Clinton. In so doing Sanders is helping the Democratic party blow a great opportunity to put a Democrat in the White House and would scotch any chance even a part of his agenda could ever be enacted.
Trump’s newest slogan against Clinton is to call her Corrupt Hillary by echoing Sanders’ stump speeches. .Proof of whether donations from Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry or corporate interests resulted in influencing her policy positions is the missing link since her record as senator was one of supporting tough measures that were not in those special groups’ interests. Even Sanders could not name one piece of legislation influenced by such contributions.
Sanders’ other attack against Hillary is that she is not qualified to be president. Strange. No one in the race in either party with a resume that reflects both domestic and foreign affairs experience. Sanders based his attack mostly on one argument: he has the judgment, not her, because he voted against the Iraq invasion and she did not. He had a strong case to differ with her on many issues that she was more of a hawk, but he chose to make this a personal attack on her character instead. This provides the GOP with a handy sound bite which diverts attention from their own extremely hawkish views.
Sanders needs to back off these attacks. They did not work in the New York primary. Polls at this writing indicate it is not working in Tuesday’s northeast primaries either. The resulting math is that Sanders is running out of pledged delegates left to capture, needing at least 59% of all remaining pledged delegates post New York.
Sanders has another challenge that is approximately reflected in the current delegate count. There are just not enough angry Democrats to join his political revolution. Those in revolt are far more numerous in the Republican party than in the Democratic party, which is why Donald Trump has dominated the GOP process and Sanders has not gained enough of the Democratic delegates, even though they are both appealing to angry masses. The NBC News/SurveyMonkey/Esquire poll released January 3 found that 61 percent of Republicans find themselves feeling angry about current events or the news more than they did one year ago. Only 42 percent of Democrats said the same thing.
Instead of making personal attacks, Sanders should focus on his greatest success: his aspirational messages, including fighting nagging income inequality, that have indeed become a significant movement within the Democratic party and cannot be ignored for years to come. In fact, he has a better chance of seeing his views getting a nod the Convention platform planks than if he makes his campaign a divisive personalized fight that turns polarized delegates against delegates. Clinton, on the other hand, can still support the essence of Sanders’ aspirational goals with greater clarity, but still disagree with the method to achieve them, if she wants to extend an olive branch to his supporters and maintain her appeal to the un-angry.
For data sources, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com
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